Lavonne Suwalski Demo at Rhode Island Watercolor Society.

Photo1 Lavonne Suwalski demo

Lavonne Suwalski has phenomenal energy and showed several watercolor techniques in 30 minutes flat!

Lavonne was showing us interesting effects by pouring watercolor through rice paper onto watercolor paper. Firstly, she wet the watercolor paper (with a brush) and then laid the rice paper over it and smoothed out the wrinkles. Then using juicy colors from her palette, she began laying in petal shapes onto the rice paper for a floral transfer. The rice paper has no sizing and the colors bled through immediately. Lavonne likened it to “Painting on toilet paper!” After adding a range of greens and some deep darks for centers of the flowers, the rice paper was peeled off and a fainter much softer “print” had bled through to the watercolor paper. The rice paper was hung out to dry! (see photo2) The paint was still wet and could be further manipulated to develop the flowers. However, Lavonnes. paper was extremely wet, so she stowed it flat on the floor while she began another more realistic pour through rice paper to produce the picture in Photo 1). In this painting, after she peeled off the rice paper, she used a steel palette knife to scrape the wet paint  around in the foreground to develop the rocks. More juicy burnt sienna was added and scraped around. It produced some very convincing looking rocks in a few well-placed scrapes! She added deeper darks to the pine trees, which made them really “pop!”
Photo 2 Lavonne waving paper in her demo! 

Returning to the floral transfer (which had beautiful soft edges and had almost dried) deeper analogous colors were added and gave more depth by allowing some of the lovely soft first layer to show through.
Then, she bought out her weapon of choice for calligraphy….a stick-with leaf still attached! She dipped it into Higgins india ink and made expressionistic outlines around some of the petals and foliage. (See earlier example she had made in photo 3).

Photo 3 Completed Floral “rice paper pour” watercolor painting

Lavonne showed that the stick could be soaked in water overnight and then peeled back (bark and inner layers) to create a “star” shape. Another great calligraphic tool in her arsenal! The varied black calligraphic lines were a nice contrast to the soft watercolor poured edges!
She shared many examples of her demonstrations of numerous creative techniques for classes that she teaches all over this area on week days. Below are a couple of images that I captured.

For more information about Lavonne and her classes:

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